How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom
by Grant Jones,
How would you rate episode 13 of
How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom ?
The final episode of the first cour has arrived. Though the prior twelve episodes have been a lot of ups and downs (or, worse, mids), I have to say that this episode started to show promise for what is to come.
The only real negative is the practicality of the festival. I understand the big picture idea here - Amidonia is a recently annexed territory, and Souma is trying to keep the people happy. In theory, all his moves are correct ones: lowering taxes, a festival to celebrate, ending the food shortages, etc. Nothing wrong there per se. But the timing feels incredibly quick. Even considering practical matters like the burying of so many dead and tending to the wounded given that Gaius lost half his army, it seems like it would be occupying too much of the people's time to make a festival a good idea (or a tasteful one for that matter). Nevermind the safety concerns of being a new ruler walking around in an area you were recently at war with - that seems like too great a risk to my mind. But I suppose there is a bit of hand waving over the timeframe for convenience.
Most of the rest of the episode I thought was actually quite good. For one thing, we actually get a far bit of time with Souma, Juna, and Tomoe having a nice day. They go shopping and get dumplings together, talk and relax a bit - it's all rather wholesome and comforting. To my mind, you only need a few scenes like this to sell a crush or budding relationship, and now Juna and Souma feel like they have a legitimate connection with one another.
The appearance of Jeanne also adds much needed tension to the season's events. Jeanne says a few odd remarks (like the admitted would-be wooing attempt from Jeanne), but is generally presented as a good counter to Souma. It's nice having a conversation where Souma can have a tense back and forth with someone else who also understands regional politics and maneuvering. I hope to see more of Jeanne (and other characters too) who Souma has to jockey with for his goals and political ambitions. Jeanne apologizing for summoning him was a genuine surprise, and a welcome one at that, given that Souma was essentially kidnapped.
Episode thirteen also looks a cut above most of the other episodes in the season. I would not say it is a visual spectacle or anything, but there is a marked improvement in character detail and expressions. Adding to that is the unique locale of Amidonia and more detailed background work, from rocky hills to dense market areas. This episode had a sense of visual and emotional character depth, plus literal background depth to boot. When the show returns next year, I hope it can maintain this level of execution going forward.
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